Thursday (Tony) (2000)
Edition of 300
2 colour lithographic print on silkscreened pearlescent ground, printed on Somerset Velvet 300 gsm.
62 x 49 cm (24 x 19 in)
Signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
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Conflating the fading auras of painting and fame, Peyton excavates the curious space between person and persona, between abstraction and life. In 'Thursday (Tony)', these relationships create an elegant and seductive economy of their own. 'I'm interested in my subjects being able to be themselves while occupying this extreme role in the public imagination.' she says. 'You can see their will, and that's incredibly beautiful'. 'Thursday (Tony)' is a sleeping portrait of the artist Tony Just "a young artist whose looks had fascinated her when they met, two years earlier—she thought he was a dead ringer for the youthful Napoleon". His feminized and androgynous appearance is emblematic of Peyton's signature style.
When her work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Elizabeth Peyton was hailed by the New York Times as a forerunner of a new realism, 'modified by an astute sense of surface, color and picture building and a delicate, almost tender physicality.' Her portraits of friends and pop idols conjure a Paradise Lost of wasted youth, of innocence blinded by the light of publicity and the pressures of growing up too fast. As social portraiture they hark back to the traditions of Sargeant and Van Dyck, re-visioned in the translucent colour and lip-gloss glazes of an entirely contemporary sensibility.